Lupus Lounge, 2010
Genre: Black Metal
1. Ved Aas I Haustmoerket
2. Ved Baal I Kveldstime
3. Ved Skog I Natterstid
4. Ved Fjell I Vinterblaest
5. Ved Elv I Eismal Stund
6.Ved Hav I Avdagsleitet
Here's the debut album for Nàttsòl. My main motivation for picking this up was the label behind it, Lupus Lounge. I really like what this label has been putting out, so I felt fairly safe in trying this out. I think Nàttsòl has a lot to offer as a band, but I did find "Stemning" had a few flaws.
The opening riff on "Ved Aas I Haustmoerket" is simply spectacular and it really hooks a listener in. In fact all the songs on "Stemning" have some incredible riffs worth hearing. While Nàttsòl play a very majestic yet fierce style of Black Metal, I feel like these two elements are strikingly separated in their compositions. Now they have some absolutely beautiful acoustic passages on this album, some of the best I've ever heard. Here's the problem though, I don't think they really considered how to blend this elements together seamlessly. "Stemning" suffers from a very "cut & paste" feel. What I mean by that is there is a distinct Black Metal section followed by an acoustic sections followed by a Black Metal section... etc. The reason this feels so clipped is because the sections are very abrupt in their ending. As if the waveforms for the Black Metal were cut down to end immediately, rather than letting the Black Metal sections transform into a beautiful acoustic section. If you want to hear a band structure songs extremely well listen to Der Weg einer Freiheit. Like I said, I think Nàttsòl has some great ideas... but they're just not executed as well as I would like.
Another strange part of Nàttsòl's style is the use of some fairly dissonant riff sections. I find this sort of typical of Norwegian Black Metal bands, but I feel like it stands out as more abrasive with Nàttsòl. Again, I think this is due to some of their problems with structuring songs that flow together very well. All that being said, I think I did manage to get used to their style as the album went on and these issues didn't stand out nearly as much. There are even some sections that were very reminiscent of Kampfar and since I love Kampfar, this isn't a bad thing.
As usual with Lupus Lounge they've financed a beautiful layout and design. This comes in a digipac which has a beautifully painted cover. It comes with a nice thick booklet which features all kinds of wonderful art. This is a level of art I've come to expect from Lupus Lounge, which makes their releases well worth owning.
In the end I really hope this band can get the flow and structuring under control. Like I said before, this band has some spectacular ideas and I would love to see them work out the kinks in their sound. If they do that they could really become a force to be reckoned with in the world of Black Metal.
In a strange turn of events Erlend has apparently left the project. Yet the project will continue to run, I find this strange because this is what Erlend did on this release: "All music & lyrics, acoustic guitars, bass guitar, additional vocals." So, hopefully people can see why I am a little skeptical on the continuation of the band. I was really impressed by the acoustic passages, so if those are gone, it will be quite a loss to this band. We'll see what happens next though...